March Highlights on WVIA-FM

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St. David’s Day Special

Wednesday, March 1st, 3pm

Enjoy an hour of some of the best Welsh performers from Bryn Terfel to Elinor Bennett peppered with Celtic wit and wisdom from host Fiona Powell.


Metropolitan Opera - Werther


Saturday, March 4th, 1pm

Tenor sensation Vittorio Grigolo is Werther, the young poet who seeks the unattainable love of the beautiful Charlotte, sung by mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard. Edward Gardner conducts Richard Eyre’s visual feast of a production.

One of opera’s greatest depictions of impossible love, Werther is based on Goethe’s epistolary novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther”. A sensation when it appeared in 1774 (and partly inspired by the author’s own experiences), it tells the story of a melancholy poet whose love for a married woman and general disaffection with the world lead to his suicide. The archetype of the artistic, brilliant, and doomed young man rebelling against the establishment has resonated through the ages in literature, theater, film, and music.


Sunday Concert Hall - San Francisco Symphony

Sunday, March 5th, 2pm

Michael Tilson Thomas conducts a program that features the Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola, K. 364 of Mozart, Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra which is a magnificent showcase for the musicians of the orchestra, many of whom get a chance to display their virtuosity. Also, a piece by Samuel C. Adams. This young composer originally from the San Francisco Bay area has been making a name for himself. In this concert we’ll hear his 2014 work Radial Play which the composer designed as an energetic short concert opener. 


Homegrown Music - Jason Vo


Tuesday, March 7th, 9pm

Northeastern Pennsylvania acoustic guitarist Jason Vo returns to Homegrown Music with a new set of original instrumental pieces spotlighting his distinctive percussive playing style. (Encore from 2015)


Metropolitan Opera - La Traviata


Saturday, March 11th, 1pm

Sonya Yoncheva sings one of opera’s most beloved heroines, the tragic courtesan Violetta, a role in which she triumphed on the Met stage in 2015, opposite Michael Fabiano as her lover, Alfredo, and Thomas Hampson as his father, Germont. Carmen Giannattasio sings later performances of the title role opposite Atalla Ayan, with the great Plácido Domingo as Germont. Nicola Luisotti conducts.

Verdi’s La Traviata survived a notoriously unsuccessful opening night to become one of the best-loved operas in the repertoire. Following the larger-scale dramas of Rigoletto and Il Trovatore, its intimate scope and subject matter inspired the composer to create some of his most profound and heartfelt music. It is based on the play La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils (1824–1895) who was the son of the author of The Three Musketeers. The title role of the “fallen woman” has captured the imaginations of audiences and performers alike with its inexhaustible vocal and dramatic possibilities—and challenges. Violetta is considered a pinnacle of the soprano repertoire.


Sunday Concert Hall - San Francisco Symphony

Sunday, March 12th, 2pm

Cellist Gautier Capuçon is featured in the deeply moving Cello Concerto of Edward Elgar and conductor Charles Dutoit lead performances of Stravinsky’s ballet Jeu de Cartes and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in the orchestration by Maurice Ravel.


Homegrown Music Concert - Jay Leonhart Trio & The Bill Goodwin Quartet 

leonhart_goodwin.jpgMonday, March 13th, 8pm

WVIA’s monthly series of two-hour live radio concert broadcasts continues with an evening of world class jazz featuring artists who have recorded for the Chiaroscuro Jazz label.

Jazz bassist, composer and vocalist Jay Leonhart is a much respected and ubiquitous artist who has performed with legends such as Judy Garland, Duke Ellington, Marian McPartland, Mel Torme, Sting and James Taylor to name a few. The composer of songs ranging from witty to poignant, he will be making his Homegrown Music debut with an all-star trio featuring two of the members of the Diva Orchestra, drummer-leader Sherrie Maricle and pianist Tomoko Ohno.

Drummer Bill Goodwin has a professional jazz career that goes back to 1959, with credits too numerous to mention, but is best known for his 40+ years with the Phil Woods Group. He has appeared on several Chiaroscuro releases, and was the producer of "New Celebration" with Phil Woods and the Festival Orchestra. He will be joined by a brilliant young pianist Jon Ballantyne, who put in impressive performances at the 2016 Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts. Ballantyne and Goodwin are collaborating on a new recording. On bass is Tony Marino, with a remarkably wide-ranging career, including a quarter century with the David Liebman Group. Marino has been a guest many times on Homegrown Music. On sax, Adam Niewood, a second generation jazz saxophonist, son of the late Gerry Niewood, and who has become a significant figure in his own light. 

As usual WVIA’s members are invited to attend the live concert at in the station’s Sordoni Studio-Theater. Free audience reservations are available on a first-come-first-served basis - reservations available here.


Homegrown Music - Poor Man's Gambit


Tuesday, March 14th, 9pm

 In time for St. Patrick’s Day, a fine Celtic trio from the Lehigh Valley, featuring second-generation Homegrown Music artist Corey Purcell. (Encore from 2015)


Metropolitan Opera - William Tell


Saturday, March 18th, 1pm

Rossini’s epic telling of the William Tell fable returns to the Met stage after an absence of more than 80 years, in a new production by Pierre Audi. Gerald Finley sings one of his signature roles as Tell, the revolutionary on a quest for freedom. Marina Rebeka is Mathilde and Bryan Hymel is her suitor, Arnold. Fabio Luisi conducts Rossini’s final, crowning operatic achievement.

Based on Friedrich Schiller’s play of the same name, William Tell is Rossini’s last opera. Rarely staged today it is best-known for its overture which is actually a multi-faceted, evocative  symphonic poem. Though initially well-received the opera enjoyed limited productions and runs as Italian censors objected to the subject matter which glorified a revolutionary figure who challenges authority.


Sunday Concert Hall - Deutsche Welle Festival Concerts: German Chamber Philharmonic, Bremen

Sunday, March 19th, 2pm

Stepping in at the last minute, Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla gave a spectacular debut with the German Chamber Philharmonic of Bremen at the finale of the festival Heidelberg Spring 2016. Whether in Los Angeles or Birmingham, England, we'll be hearing more from this young conductor in the months and years to come. Our season opener has a fresh rendition of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony - and arias on the subjects of love, jealousy and vengeance rendered by South African soprano Golda Schultz. Rick Fulker hosts.


Homegrown Music - Plus 3


Tuesday, March 21st, 9pm

From the Homegrown Music archive comes this 2003 series debut of an outstanding melodic rock band from the Wyoming Valley. The group is still occasionally active, and this session shows the band in fine form. (Encore)


Metropolitan Opera - Idomeneo


Saturday, March 25th, 1pm

Mozart’s first operatic masterpiece returns to the Met in the classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production, conducted by Music Director Emeritus James Levine. The superb ensemble includes Matthew Polenzani as the king torn by a rash vow; mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in the trouser role of his noble son Idamante; soprano Nadine Sierra as Ilia; and soprano Elza van den Heever as the volatile Elettra, who loves Idamante to the bounds of madness.

Like many stories from Greek myth, Idomeneo explores the motivations and emotions of humans whose fates seem beyond their own control. The opera casts these issues within the framework of the ‘opera seria’ genre, a stylized format popular in the 18th century that is characterized by a succession of arias and recitatives and a cast of noble characters. Long neglected along with other works of this era, Idomeneo now holds a firm place in the repertoire as the first of Mozart’s operatic masterpieces.


Sunday Concert Hall - Deutsche Welle Festival Concerts: Opera Gala

Sunday, March 26th, 2pm

Opera is good for you - and even for public health. That's the strategy of a yearly opera gala benefit in Bonn, Germany, whose proceeds go to the German AIDS Foundation. This broadcast brings you nine fabulous soloists performing at the Bonn Opera free of charge but with much passion. From Beethoven and Bernstein to Verdi and from Donizetti to Delibes to Mozart, arias and songs of jealousy and love, intrigue and heroism, heartbreak and humor. Stefan Blunier conductis the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn. Rick Fulker hosts.


Homegrown Music - Kaleigh Baker


Tuesday, March 28th, 9pm

A soulful, energetic singer-songwriter originally from Upstate New York, Ms. Baker is a regular in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Her songs have the energy of rock but are performed in an acoustic context in this encore of her 2015 Homegrown Music debut.


A Homegrown Jazz Special - The Paul Kendall Quintet


Wednesday, March 29th, 7pm

Veteran Lehigh  Valley saxophonist Paul Kendall got his start on clarinet in the fourth grade in school, and has been playing reeds ever since, playing baritone sax in big bands led by Ken McIntyre and Charli Persip. Now specializing on tenor sax, he regularly performs with the Skip Wilkins Quintet and Dave Leonhardt. For his Homegrown Music debut, he will be joined by pianist Patrick Poladian, whose original compositions the group will be performing. Also in the group are trumpeter Marc Neely, Paul Rostock on bass and Daniel Gonzalez on drums. 

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